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Comments

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Scientists Extract RSA Key From GnuPG Using Sound of CPU

knapper_tech Re:Layman interpretation (generally) (264 comments)

I was skeptical until I recalled how the encryption will pass through a loop or not at some order of magnitude frequency that can be picked up by the Mic. For any busy server with requests popping in and out at various intervals, there would be more noise from the multiple processes that might be doing encryption work or just varying workload (db's, web apps etc). This is noise on the same order as the encryption work in some cases. The web server or ssh server (using GPG but not encrypting communication?) will also be doing encryption with a different key and creating more noise. Of course both keys can be gotten in the case of key-key noise, but in a server room full of the things, it's just one more layer of variables.

What I don't get is that GPG's implementation is doing more or less work based the encryption routines being executed. Optimization always leads to saturation unless memory traffic is the culprit (can't optimize memory reads infinitely). Would read the paper, but oh look at the time.

about 8 months ago
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Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Could Actually Be Group From Europe

knapper_tech it could also be... (186 comments)

Santa, Aliens, FSM etc. Film at 11.

about 8 months ago
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Canonical Moving Away From GNOME Control Center

knapper_tech Re:NIH (208 comments)

It's appropriate that Ubuntu is focused on the control center. Fuck the rest of open-source. We never got anything from this whole community approach anyway.

about 8 months ago
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Get Ready For a Streaming Music Die-Off

knapper_tech Yeah, and Netflix is Next...Right... (370 comments)

The notion that streaming music, which requires much less bandwidth than video, is not going to ever be profitable is obviously nothing more than a fascination of the RIAA that finally a new medium of consumption doesn't require a new business model in order to capture the demand and revenue.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Laptops For Fans Of Pre-Retina MacBook Pro?

knapper_tech ASUS Zenbooks (477 comments)

Very high quality build, excellent specs, battery life that makes going mobile reasonable. Spend $1700+ and you have one hell of a laptop. Dual SSD, great display, gobs of ram, massive video card... The Linux support used to require some optimus tweaking, but these days it should "just work." There was a bug that cause the light sensor in the camera to generate keystrokes, but you can put a smiley sticker on top.

about 9 months ago
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Interviews: Q&A With Guido van Rossum

knapper_tech Re:Multi-line lambdas (242 comments)

Keep in mind that Python uses a stack machine VM and that this makes function call overhead large, as each call requires a new stack frame to be set up. A strong lambda will lead to creep. Then again, why don't we have a register based VM?

1 year,8 days
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Interviews: Q&A With Guido van Rossum

knapper_tech Re:Why did Python avoid some common "OO" idioms? (242 comments)

Ultimately, since Python is dynamic down to being able to override the data model of an object on the fly, there would be no point. There is no point in any program really. Underscores do just as good of job as public/private declarations at telling me which parts of the API are for users and which are for the class. I might use private attributes and methods, but I ought to know what I'm doing if I do. Any program's data can be made public, and the more frequently the need arises, the better programmers get at using introspection to uncover the private members, and suddenly there's no point.

One of the older justifications given for encapsulation and header files was to be able to sell binary objects. If you can't read the source for the library, you can't figure out how all the parts work, so you better use the public API or you might really screw something up. This is totally irrelevant in the world of open source software. Underscores are a totally valid solution to telling other programmers who might modify the encapsulation what the intent was at one point, giving them a strong hint that they need to dig deeper before messing around. If encapsulation is a gentleman's agreement, why does it need a language feature?

1 year,8 days
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Your preferred Linux distribution for 2013?

knapper_tech Mindshare Balkanization via Invalid Comparisons (627 comments)

A distribution is an organization, configuration, and ...well...distribution philosophy and set of tools to implement that philosophy. In short, a distribution is a package manager. Start with LFS, install a package manager, configure it like one of the distros, and a new identity your Linux installation will be given. We should be highlighting that the only thing really different from XFCE on Arch and XFCE on Ubuntu is the default color and icon schemes, system tray programs, and perhaps the file layout of configurations. Any comparison that differentiates totally similar distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint) on equal footing with totally dissimilar distributions (Arch) glazes over the nature of the differences and obfuscates the choice of operating system. It's different strains of apples vs and orange. Please, teach your Linux taxonomy and don't exaggerate contrived identities. Linux is not soccer.

1 year,17 days
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Sony Entertainment Head Steps Down

knapper_tech Sign of Successful Change of Direction (65 comments)

After Howard Stringer, the Sony-BGM DRM stooge got replaced, this is another sign that Sony is continuing to move back to nice electronics and away from the walled-garden approaches (DRM, mini-disc/beta-max?) that made Sony products acquire so much grossness brand-wise.

about 2 years ago
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OpenGL Becoming a Requirement For the Linux Desktop

knapper_tech Seriously, Identity Crisis (229 comments)

Ubuntu, Mint etc users: You can add another older window manager using apt-get. XFCE etc are lightweight. Just because your distro pimps one WM over another doesn't mean jack. Come to think of it, why didn't anyone mention Xubuntu or Lubuntu or one of the other Ubuntus? This post is so n00b.

Your WM is just one software package in your Linux distro. Your Linux distro is just one of many. Pretty much any Linux distro can be re-installed completely from source (and necessary binary blobs) to -BE- another Linux distro.

about 2 years ago
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Stubborn Intel Graphics Bug Haunts Ubuntu 12.04

knapper_tech Re:What they are actually reporting an Issue. (320 comments)

Ubuntu is n00000bix. Eventually someone has to deal with bugs, and not being developer oriented is bad for keeping developers with your distro.

about 2 years ago
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Wall Street and the Mismanagement of Software

knapper_tech And Save What? More Fantasy? (267 comments)

It's already such a waste that so much talent is getting thrown at problems that seek to make money while producing absolutely nothing. HFT is cleverly sanding in the middle of a river in an eddy and dipping your hand in to tap power without getting pushed downstream. What does Wall Street actually produce? What is their product? Why should we care that they periodically lose their minds and shirts? If anything HFT should be taxed into oblivion so that excellent minds aren't recruited to deliver nothing of social value.

about 2 years ago
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Has the Command Line Outstayed Its Welcome?

knapper_tech The Efficient People Will Build Your Crutches (1134 comments)

The number of developers I'm meeting who are not comfortable on the CLI and opt for more obtuse ( not esoteric and hard to get into, but obtuse when it's time to understand what just broke ) IDE's, I'm obliged to pour fire on anything short of mind-machine interfaces to replace the CLI.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Add New Tech To Old Van?

knapper_tech Call Xhibit (212 comments)

I was seriously surprised when document text searches for "Xhibit" and "Pimp my Ride" came up short. I would like to read something about the calls for black-hats to go after so-called converted white-hats who work for dubious white-hat companies supposedly trustworthy to handle cyber security.

more than 2 years ago
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Oklahoma Hit By Its Strongest-Ever Recorded Quake

knapper_tech Sorry for the Alarm (202 comments)

If I had known moving to Tulsa would cause earthquakes I would have just come sooner.

more than 2 years ago
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How Steve Jobs Solved the Innovator's Dilemma

knapper_tech Re:Buncha Apple Fanbois (424 comments)

I argue that Jobs merely had engineering talent around him and the counterpoint is Woz was a good engineer? Woz left because Jobs was a dick and we still give way too much credit to that dick after death. Good riddance, Steve Jobs, you dick.

more than 2 years ago
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How Steve Jobs Solved the Innovator's Dilemma

knapper_tech Re:easy tiger (424 comments)

Microsoft won, then lost. I thought this was an obvious interpretation. Microsoft won round 1. Microsoft then laid down and died? That's about how I see it. Anyway, the point I'm attempting to drive home is that Apple's repeated attempts to sell one product to rule them all have failed again. Droid will slowly eat the market to death until Apple is back at square one with manufacturing runs getting smaller and pricing leverage going away as well as developer flight from their walled garden.

more than 2 years ago
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How Steve Jobs Solved the Innovator's Dilemma

knapper_tech Re:easy tiger (424 comments)

lol way to go fanboi.

See that iOS market share? Drip drip drip.

more than 2 years ago
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How Steve Jobs Solved the Innovator's Dilemma

knapper_tech Re:easy tiger (424 comments)

Microsoft is obviously winning. Why don't you understand that I'm clearly asserting with all my mind, body, and soul that Microsoft, my beloved Microsoft, is the reason why I am of the opinion that Apple is losing the smartphone battle. Nokia and Windows 7 Phone are obviously why I am making that distinction. Obviously red is blue and Apple fanbois are genuine in their pursuit of knowledge.

more than 2 years ago
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How Steve Jobs Solved the Innovator's Dilemma

knapper_tech Re:easy tiger (424 comments)

I can't take this seriously. Microsoft is obviously, at this moment in time, the reason why I would suggest that Apple is losing at its attempt to build and sell every part of every single phone used by every consumer on Earth. Obviously.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Seeking Distilled Software Engineering Experience

knapper_tech knapper_tech writes  |  more than 2 years ago

knapper_tech writes "I'm a 26-year-old web programmer self-trained in nice MVC based frameworks, including Yii and Django, with their ORM's, well-packaged extensions, database agnosticism and all that other high-minded stuff thrust into a professional track of imperative PHP and MySQL. As usual, believing in high-minded concepts is never quite as informative as witnessing the cascading bugs in haphazardly maintained, undocumented code that never seems to go away and stay with the customer. In addition I get a lot of blown projects by would-be developers in the door. In the spirit of reuse, what are some really good pieces of literature for one to hone their use of the force? I'm not so much asking for logical proofs of why a certain pattern is always better than another, but moreso examples of, "This was the code, this was the fallout, and this was how to decouple it and hook it in properly." I'll be able to pick up the core concepts on my own reading. What I can't duplicate economically (time being priceless) is time spent in the industry. What of course would be most informative is what practices you as a coder hope to find when expecting my code to have a useful lifetime in a code base."
Link to Original Source
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Tokyo Summer Blackouts a Sustainability Spotlight

knapper_tech knapper_tech writes  |  more than 3 years ago

knapper_tech writes "knapper_tech writes "TEPCO expects electrical shortages will return this summer, undoubtedly affecting supply chains and impacting a global economy still described as "recovering." While the worst of the disasters has given way to the rebuilding phase, the looming question is how to avoid blackouts this summer in Tokyo, the heart of the world's third largest economy.

One analyst's estimate, "the best-case scenario would see TEPCO boost its capacity by 12.5GW to 46.5GW, well short of peak summer demand of between 55 and 61GW." Tokyo's summer cooling climate peaks in August, so while there might not be enough time to build additional generating capacity or transmission capability, more readily implemented techniques and technologies like cool roofs or simply unplugging devices when off, require only awareness and small investments, such as a switchable power strip.

A seminar series last fall at the University of Oklahoma covered energy consumption reduction through architecture and new usage models. Among unamiliar items were virtual store aisles, which eliminated open-faced cooled shelves. Considering how something currently as niche as a vacuum insulated panel might find easy life inside a Japanese vending machine, where hot and cold beverage storage obviously complicates insulation design, it's seems to be a good time to reflect on the available quick-fixes and help the Japanese and the world recover economically. Surely there are programs similar to the one at OU, and surely there are more ways of robustly saving electricity. I will be in contact with a Hitachi overseas division regarding another energy saving project, and any quality information will be relayed to Hitachi ltd.

Furthermore, given the demonstrated capacity of the Japanese keiretsu to coordinate focused industrial efforts, robust electricity savings could lead to a clear test of whether or not sustainable technologies can affect the growth of an economy, perhaps opening up opportunities to increase energy competitiveness back home. With power consumption fresh on the mind, what are some back-burner items that perhaps should be looked at more carefully moving forward from this disaster?
"

Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: Avoiding Summer Blackout in Tokyo?

knapper_tech knapper_tech writes  |  more than 3 years ago

knapper_tech writes "Manufacturing disruptions in Japan have already affected parts supplies in my part of the world and may send workers home as early as April. While the worst of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis seems to have given way to the rebuilding phase, a looming question for Japan and the global economy recently described as "recovering" is how to avoid blackouts this summer in Tokyo, the heart of the world's third largest economy. The typical peak demand period is in August, so while there might not be enough time to build additional generating capacity or transmission capability, more readily implemented techniques and technologies like cool roofs or simply unplugging devices when off, require only awareness and small investments, such as a switchable power strip.

Last semester I had the privileged of attending a seminar series at the University of Oklahoma with many guest speakers including experts on energy consumption and architectural energy conservation in particular. Among unfamiliar items were virtual store aisles, which eliminated open-faced cooled shelves. Considering how something currently as niche as a vacuum insulated panel might find easy life inside a Japanese vending machine, where hot and cold beverage storage obviously complicates insulation design, it's seems to be a good time to reflect on the available quick-fixes and help the Japanese and the world recover economically. Surely there are programs similar to the one at OU, and surely there are more ways of robustly saving electricity. I will be in contact with a Hitachi overseas division regarding another energy saving project, and any quality information will be relayed to Hitachi ltd.

Furthermore, given the demonstrated capacity of the Japanese keiretsu to coordinate focused industrial efforts, robust electricity savings could lead to a clear demonstration of how sustainable technologies can affect the growth of an economy, perhaps giving the rest of the world an opportunity to continue developing economically without colliding politically over energy demand a little less. With power consumption fresh on the mind, what are some back-burner items that perhaps should be looked at more carefully moving forward from this disaster?"

Link to Original Source
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Can Auto Industry Retool to Build Rails?

knapper_tech knapper_tech writes  |  more than 5 years ago

knapper_tech writes "The scope of the auto industry troubles continues to increase in magnitude. The call to retool and develop new vehicles has been made several times already, but with all of the challenges from labor prices and foreign competition, what exactly can the industry retool to that will be more competitive? In light of superior competition facing losses, there doesn't seem to be enough room in the industry moving forward. In the context of finding a new place in the auto industry, the future isn't bright. Calls for no disorderly collapse of the cash-strapped big three and a reluctant congress can only point to an underlying lack of direction.

However, consider two other standing economic challenges. The airlines have continued to struggle due to fuel prices and heightened security. Consumers backed off of SUV's due to high fuel prices, and while those prices have eased in the face of global recession, the trend will pick up again with growth in China and India leading the fight for resources.

In short, things are moving less, and the industries that support that movement are in need of developing new products while consumers are in need of cheaper means of transportation. Looking abroad, it's clear the US has far lest invested in local and regional rail systems. With regard to high-speed rail systems, the US is conspicuously behind. France's TGV is moving people at 574km/h. China operates the world's first commercial maglev line while the famous Japanese Shinkasen goes without mentioning. In the US there is only one line in operation between DC and Boston with a few more planned as a result of the 2008 election in California.

The traditional barrier to implementation of rail systems is the initial investment costs, but in the context of economic stimulus, such investment sinks are actually desirable. The auto industry has clearly taken note with proposals from companies like Caterpillar for huge new infrastructure projects.

A friend who recently bought a house observed that real-estate prices are on the rise nearer to city centers, where the fallout of mortgage problems and expensive, time-consuming drives from the suburbs can be avoided. Recalling the huge number of urban revitalization plans and efforts to increase the viability of older city centers, it seems as though many municipal governments would also be in line to gain from the added density of rail systems and increased activity they can support in downtown areas.

Putting it all together, it seems like now would be a good time to direct the industrial capacity of the automotive and supporting industries to developing local and regional, high-speed rail systems to provide a more efficient and effective infrastructure basis for US cities while essentially creating a new market where competition from foreign car manufacturers will not be a problem. At the same time, a huge labor force would be required. The task would call for engineers for development, factory workers for manufacturing, operators, and maintenance workers. Caterpillar still gets to sell construction equipment. The inevitable stream of stores popping up around stations would provide new commercial areas. Last-mile bus and taxi services would also have a new place. The list goes on.

Besides the savings in fuel, the US could also gain international prestige and possibly help lead China and India away from our mistakes, helping to stem the rising demand for oil globally and avoiding the attendant international tension. Climate change is yet another win in this scenario.

It seems like we're not exactly headed in that direction, and I'm curious to see what slashdot readers think of all this. What pieces need to be in place to make the investments pay off? What are additional resources that are required? Can the industries really make such a change of direction? Do we have everything we need in the US? How would such systems work out long term? Would the initial investments be able to pick up fast enough to stimulate the economy?"
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Where are the US's High Speed Rail Systems?

knapper_tech knapper_tech writes  |  more than 5 years ago

knapper_tech writes "France has TGV weighing in at 574km/h. Shanghai owns the worlds first commercial Maglev line. The famous Japanese Shinkansen goes without mention and has also been exported to Taiwan. The US currently only has one line in operation between DC and Boston. More were recently approved in California through the 2008 election. The question is, with a huge economic stimulus package likely in the making, auto industry in the soup line, and airlines still facing challenges from fuel and security concerns, has there ever been a better time for the US to investigate constructing a high speed rail network?

After doing a little preliminary research on the internet[sic], there seem to be enough areas of demand. Take routes like Houston-Dallas-Austin or any pick of east-coast and west-coast cities in the distance/time sweet spots. The biggest issue affecting success after that is creation of local systems to disperse traffic from the main stations. In the past, that would have presented a large investment barrier, but in the context of economic stimulus, creating such systems is actually desirable.

The demands on new tooling, development, construction, maintenance, and operation present a huge investment site for any new stimulus package. Rail systems have a tendency to promote tighter, more efficient and lively city centers. Local connection systems could form the basis of a new mass transit system, lowering the country's energy bill and environmental footprint while at the same time stimulating urban centers. Instead of investing in infrastructure for foreign cars to burn foreign gas on, the US could pursue a local industry that would pay off in the long run and give us more diplomatic leverage for global warming issues in the future, not to mention international brownie points for being a responsible nation.

Where would we get the resources to go about starting such an industry? Look at the excess industrial capacity of the domestic auto industry and all the people currently out of work. The resources, needs, manpower, technology, manufacturing, and motivation is here. Where are the rail systems?"

Link to Original Source
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What's Keeping US Phones in the Stone Age?

knapper_tech knapper_tech writes  |  more than 7 years ago

knapper_tech (813569) writes "After seeing the iPhone introduction in the US, I was totally confused by how much excitement it generated in the US. It offered no features I could see beyond my Casio W41CA's capabilities. I had a lot of apprehension towards the idea of a virtual keypad and the bare screen looked like a scratch magnet. Looks aren't enough. Finally, the price is rediculous. The device is an order of magnitude more expensive than my now year-old keitai even with a two-year contract.

After returning to the US, I've come to realize the horrible truth behind iPhone's buzz. Over the year I was gone, US phones haven't really done anything. Providers push a miniscule lineup of uninspiring designs and then charge unbelievable prices for even basic things like text messages. I was greeted at every kiosk by more tired clamshells built to last until obselescense, and money can't buy a replacement for my W41CA. I finally broke down and got a $20 Virgin phone to at least get me connected until I get over my initial shock. In short, American phones suck, and iPhone is hopefully a wakeup call to US providers and customers. Why is the American phone situation so depressing?

Before I left for Japan about a year ago, I was using a Nokia 3160. It cost me $40 US and I had to sign a one year contract that Cingular later decided was a two-year contract. I was paying about $40 a month for service and had extra fees for SMS messages.

After I got to Kyoto, I quickly ended up at an AU shop and landed a Casio W41CA. It does email, music, pc web browsing, gps, fm radio, tv, phone-wallet, pictures (2megapixel), videos, calculator etc. I walked out of the store for less than ¥5000 (about $41) including activation fees, and I was only paying slightly over ¥4000 (about $33) per month. That included ¥3000 for a voice plan I rarely used and ¥1000 for effectively unlimited data (emails and internet).

Perhaps someone with more knowledge of the costs facing American mobile providers can explain the huge technology and cost gap between the US and Japan. Why are we paying so much for such basic features?

At first, I thought maybe it was something to do with network infrastructure. The US is a huge land area and Japan is very tiny. However, Japan would have lots of towers because of the terrain. Imagine something like Colorado covered in metropolitan area. Also, even though places like rural New Mexico exist, nobody has an obligation to cover them, and from the look of coverage maps, no providers do. Operating a US network that reaches 40% of the nation's population requires nowhere near reaching 40% of the land area. The coverage explanation alone isn't enough.

Another possibility was the notion that because Americans keep their phones until they break, phone companies don't focus much on selling cutting edge phones and won't dare ship a spin-chassis to Oklahoma. However, with the contract life longer, the cost of the phone could be spread out over a longer period. If Americans like phones that are built to last and then let them last, the phones should be really cheap. From my perspective, they are rediculously priced, so this argument also fails.

The next exlpanation I turned to is that people in the US tend to want winners. We like one ring to rule them all and one phone to establish all of what is good in phone fashion for the next three years. However, Motorola's sales are sagging as the population got tired of dime-a-dozen RAZR's and subsequent knockoffs. Apparently, we have more fashion sense or at least desire for individuality than to keep buying hundreds of millions of the same design. Arguing that the US market tends to gravitate to one phone and then champion it is not making Motorola money.

At last I started to wonder if it was because Americans buy less phones as a whole, making the cost of marketing as many different models as the Japanese prohibitive. However, with something like three times the population, the US should be more than enough market for all the glittery treasures of Akiba. What is the problem?

I'm out of leads at this point. It's not like the FCC is charging Cingular and Verizon billions of dollars per year and the costs are getting passed on to the consumer. Japanese don't have genetically superior cellphone taste. I remember that there was talk of how fierce mobile competition was and how it was hurting mobile providers' earnings. However, if Japanese companies can make money at those prices while selling those phones, what's the problem in the US? It seems to me more like competition is non-existent and US providers are ramming yesteryear's designs down our throats while charging us an arm and a leg! Someone please give me some insight."

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